A YouGov survey has found that over 67 per cent of UAE travellers feel their holidays start as they reach the airport. To make your airport experience more thrilling, Dubai Airports and Emirates Leisure Retail have launched a joint initiative Early Birds Have More Fun.
If you arrive early at Dubai Airports, you can avail discounts including up to 25 per cent off at Emirates Leisure Retail’s diverse range of restaurants, as well as up to 25 per cent off spa treatments at Be Relax. You also have a chance to win a family trip to The Residence Maldives by Cenizaro from dnata Travel.
What’s more, over the peak summer travel period, the airport will also feature live performances as part of Dubai Airports’ ongoing musicDXB initiative.
In related developments, a new advisory has been issued for UAE residents flying out of Abu Dhabi airport, as millions of passengers are expected to pass through the terminals during the peak summer travel period.
Etihad Airways is preparing for a busy travel season over the next two months, when around 3.3 million travellers are expected to fly with the UAE-based carrier across its network.
The airline said that as people make plans for trips home or on holiday in time for Eid, school break and summer, the period between June 22 and August 24 will be a ‘particularly busy time’ at Abu Dhabi airport.
To encourage passengers to arrive at the airport early, Etihad is offering those who check in at least four hours prior to departure an extra five kilos of checked baggage, 2,500 Etihad guest miles and vouchers that can be used for select Duty Free and food and beverage outlets.
Interest in travel cover skyrockets
UAE residents have their minds set on travelling safely this summer, with compareit4me.com, a Dubai-based comparison site, having recorded a 62 per cent increase in the number of visits to its travel insurance comparison portal.
The increase was seen between the months of May and June this year, and is explained by the fact that a large number of UAE residents have taken the recently passed Eid Al Fitr as the beginning of their summer holidays.
Sales of travel insurance policies naturally increased along with the number of visits to compareit4me’s travel insurance portal, with over 200 per cent more travel insurance policies being sold in June 2017 than in May 2017.
Jonathan Rawling, CFO of compareit4me.com said: “Our evidence for this is that travel insurance policy sales for June are actually up 550 per cent year-on-year. This means that many more people are taking out travel insurance ahead of their summer holidays than they were last year.”
compareit4me can also reveal that English speakers make up the vast majority of users purchasing travel insurance online. Only a small fraction of visitors to compareit4me’s travel insurance comparison platform opted to view the portal’s Arabic-language pages.
This could be down to one of two factors. It may be that those who speak Arabic as a first language are culturally less inclined to see value in travel insurance, or it could be that Arabic speakers simply prefer to make online purchases in English, due to the prevalence of English across online and banking systems worldwide.
“It’s certainly true that, in general, Western and Asian expats tend to be more considerate of the fact that travel insurance is a worthy purchase, so that might play into these numbers. And with Eid Al Fitr and the summer months being a popular holiday window for GCC nationals, we would argue that perhaps more education on why travel insurance is important is needed for this group,” said Rawling.
The importance of travel insurance has been well documented by compareit4me. One in six customers make a claim on their travel insurance policies, and compareit4me research has found that 80 per cent of UAE travellers have experienced some sort of travel-related incident.
Travel insurance claims can be for anything from stolen cash on holiday, through lost luggage on a flight, to cancellations on the part of tour operators. By taking out travel insurance for a relatively small outlay, compared to the overall cost of a trip abroad, travellers can ensure they’re protected financially in the event of an incident.